Department of Animal Science


Date of this Version



Published in 2009 Nebraska Beef Cattle Report (Lincoln, NE: December, 2008). Copyright © 2008 The Board of Regents of the University of Nebraska.


Two experiments were conducted to evaluate the effect of dietary cation-anion difference (DCAD) at two levels (-16 and +20 mEq) on feedlot performance and nutrient mass balance in open feedlots. Decreasing DCAD did not negatively impact cattle performance or carcass characteristics. Feeding negative DCAD diets resulted in lower manure pH in both the winter and summer experiments. Final soil core pH was reduced only in the winter experiment. Percentage of N lost was not influenced by DCAD in either experiment. The decrease in manure pH is likely not enough to reduce the amount of N lost in open feedlot pens.